The bilingual bonus

Studies show that learning a second language can help you get a better job, a higher paycheck, and improve your mental focus. Sí, it's true. But wait, there's more.

Research also shows that bilingualism can help fight off dementia and delay Alzheimer’s by four-to-five years, sharpen cognitive skills, improve memory and decision-making skills, and even reshape how we see the world around us.

When it comes to the workforce there are huge perks for bilingual speakers. According to research performed by Burning Glass Technologies, employers increasingly desire workers who speak multiple languages, particularly in industries that provide services involving a high degree of human interaction. The same report sites the top three languages employers look for when hiringChinese, Spanish, and Arabicall classes you can enroll in for fall!

Want to work in Europe? German is the most in-demand by employers, especially in southern European countries like Spain and Greece. Check out ASU's study abroad programs. Because why not learn a language in its native country?

But what exactly is the ROI on learning a foreign language? Well, it's a hard one to quantify. A study by The Economist found that you can expect to make an additional 2% in earnings. Ok, so you might not be rolling in that all red Lamb', but over time it adds up. Consider this, the study uses a $45,000 starting salary, assumes a 1% salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years. That original 2% language bonus now turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. So go ahead, get the guac.


Adulting 101

Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.


Newsletter subscription

Stay connected
Subscribe to our newsletter
By completing and submitting your information to ASU, you consent to:

Student contributor view

Meet the team

Ivan Alcazar
Meet Ivan
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Major: Political science
Year in school: Junior
Aubrey Souders
Meet Aubrey
Hometown: Peoria, AZ
Major: Secondary education
Year in school: Junior
Nora Abujbarah
Meet Nora
Hometown: Avondale, AZ
Major: Global studies and political science
Year in school: Junior
Zabrick Kline
Meet Zabric
Hometown: Glendale, AZ
Major: Accounting
Year in school: Senior
Tylie Dibene
Meet Tylie
Hometown: Nogales, Arizona
Major: Justice studies
Year in school: Senior
Taylor Bettis
Meet Taylor
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
Major: Forensic psychology
Year in school: Junior

Next topic opinion form

What should we cover next?

COVID-19 information